President Joe Biden plans to withdraw all remaining U.S. military forces from Afghanistan within the next five months, effectively ending the longest war in American history by the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, multiple news outlets reported Tuesday.
This means some U.S. forces will stay in Afghanistan about four months later than May 1, a withdrawal deadline the United States and the Taliban agreed upon last year — Biden had previously said that deadline would be “tough” to abide by.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
2,500. That’s how many U.S. troops the Pentagon says are currently in Afghanistan, far below the nearly 100,000 forces in the country during the war’s peak in 2011.
The withdrawal plan is likely to draw praise from some members of both parties who have pushed for an end to the U.S. presence in Afghanistan. Progressive Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) — who has regularly argued the war in Afghanistan is unwinnable — applauded Biden’s decision in a statement, calling it “an act of extraordinary political courage and vision.” Meanwhile, the plan could generate criticism from other members of Congress who argue a quick withdrawal will embolden the Taliban to take over wide swaths of the country.